To my disappointment, your efforts have not resulted in an increase in retention. “What are you doing all day long?”
Before I heard those words, I had just been hired for the position. A low-cost, scalable service model was expected to quickly improve retention of our newest product.
It was evident that things were not going well.
My first managerial position was at this company. It wasn’t long ago that I was in charge of 30 clients per month. One conversation at a time, I went about my new job in the only way I knew how: by talking to customers (at least, that was the hope).
I reasoned that the more time I spent with them, the better their memory would be. But there were just too many people. As soon as I spoke to a person, five more appeared. In addition, retention was declining.
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It takes a team to achieve customer success.
When a product manager from Relevate walked into the room, it was a surprise.
To improve my customer service skills, I was analysing recordings of my phone calls.
He burst out laughing.
It’s a team problem, and the customer success department acts as the captain, he said. “They don’t carry the team alone.”
Product, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success Are All Part of the Company “Team,” He Said. Each Team Has a Role to Play in the Success and Retention of Customers.
It’s true that some of these people have a direct impact on customer retention, he said.
He calculated that the engineering team has a 60 percent direct impact on retention in a product-driven company, as product quality is directly linked to the customer experience.
There is a 15% direct impact on each of sales and marketing when they are targeting the right customers and using the right messaging.
One-tenth of the company’s decisions are made directly by my team, the Customer Success department.
I was a little down. Because we were tasked with increasing customer loyalty, my division had the least amount of influence over that figure.
It is important to note that customer service has an indirect impact on the company, as customer conversation insights inform the rest of the organisation. It’s like the engine of a car is the product team, and the gas is the customer success team.
As a Customer Success Manager,
His words helped me understand my responsibilities better. First, I had to fulfil my direct influence responsibilities by interacting with customers and maximising my 10% influence. My second goal was to learn more about my customers and share their stories with the rest of the workforce.
It was with this in mind that our team began sending out a weekly email called the Voice of the Customer. This email was a good summary of what we were hearing over the phone at the time. Additionally, we included a list of the most common “blockers” to a customer’s initial activation and expansion with our product. In the absence of direct customer contact, this newsletter was the primary source of information about the customer experience for those teams.
Various stakeholders requested changes to their sections over time, and the email became so popular that we created an automation subscription page.
What’s going on with the customer voice (VoC)? When it comes to driving business results and increasing customer retention, it’s not just the customer success team’s job.
Continue reading to find out more about Voice of the Customer (VoC) and how organisations are capturing and utilising this valuable resource.
The Customer’s Voice Can Be Heard in Many Ways
Voice of the customer (VoC) is the process of gathering customer feedback, distributing results within an organisation, and interpreting feedback to improve the customer experience and retention of a product or service.
Every organization’s version of this procedure is unique. An email subscription was enough for my team at Relevate to share VoC with our customers.
This customer perspective, however, must be shared with the rest of the company, not just the customer success team. To my knowledge, my team does not have sole responsibility for determining whether a customer stays or churns.
Customer Retention: The Importance of Listening to the Customer
Keeping customers happy is a team effort, and the voice of the customer is essential to that end. When it comes to improving customer retention and helping them see value in your product or service, building a customer success team is an important part of the puzzle.
Customer feedback is essential before you begin building your customer success puzzle. Direct contact with front-line customer service representatives and customer success managers (CSMs) is likely to be the most effective method of gathering customer feedback.
Marketing emails, social media comments, or the rate of use of certain tools, products, or apps could also provide valuable customer feedback.
In addition, monitor your customer service metrics to see how you’re doing. You can use Relevate, a customer feedback tool, to assist in sending out surveys and tracking customer satisfaction over time.
Your company’s product team can’t begin to change and improve things if they don’t have the input of your customers. According to the team’s perspective, they may be creating software or products that are too complicated to use, and thus fail to address the issues that your customers are trying to solve.
Providing Customer Success with detailed feedback on the types of questions customers ask as they begin using the new product or service, Customer Success can help Product make updates and changes that provide solutions before customers become frustrated — and prevent them from leaving.
It is the job of the marketing team to create compelling content and campaigns that move prospects through the funnel and turn them into marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). Also, when a lead becomes a customer and begins using a product they learned about in ads or blog posts, the message they received may not match the final outcome.
As a result, marketing teams are primarily focused on generating new leads for the sales team—and not on creating content and campaigns for customers, who can generate new leads and loyal customers free of charge, through referral marketing.
As a result of using VoC, Marketing can create content for customers, which in turn helps customers succeed and encourages them to become brand advocates and refer friends to the brand.
Customers who fail to meet expectations may be churned by a lack of service-level agreement (SLA) in place by salespeople who are motivated by revenue generation.
Incentives for sales should be based on customer feedback that the Customer Success team provides. So, if customers are more successful and get more value from combining multiple offerings, salespeople should be encouraged to do so in order to provide CSMs with more opportunities to do the same for them in the future.
Lastly, but by no means least, the Voice of the Customer is critical to the success of the team that works with customers.
There are many teams in your company who can contribute to customer success, but the captain is the customer success manager who is tasked with gathering and analysing feedback from customers via surveys, comments and conversations in order to share that information with the other teams so that they can adjust their strategies to provide more value to the company’s patrons
You can improve customer service by sharing this information with your team, but bringing the voice of the customer to your entire organization—like we did with our email—helps everyone work to improve customer retention by helping customers see value and grow revenue by using your product or service.
On LinkedIn, this post was originally published.
Note from the editor: This post, originally published in November 2021, has been updated to include all relevant information and context.”